Source: South Williamsport, Pa.
Date/Time: Day, August 17, 2012, 3:00pm ET
First batter, home run. That was the way it started for San Antonio, Texas Little League in the bottom half of the first when they came up to bat, and it was a sign of good things to come as the Southwest champions would go on to beat Parsippany, New Jersey Little League, 5-2, in their opener of the Little League World Series at Lamade Stadium on Friday.
After shutting out the Mid-Atlantic in the top of the first, Jordan Cardenas put the Southwest on the board immediately with a lead-off home run.
In the second inning, the Southwest would score three more runs, beginning with Tyler Vitt’s in-the-park home run to center field.
With two outs and runners on first and second, Zachary Sanchez would single to right, but would advance to third on an error by the right fielder, scoring two runners on the play and opening up a 4-0 lead for the Southwest.
“You can’t make errors at this level,” Mid-Atlantic manager Mike Ruggiero said.
The Mid-Atlantic would let a golden opportunity for them to get back in the game slip through their fingers in the fourth inning. Trailing 5-2 with the bases loaded and only one out, the Mid-Atlantic only managed to get one run across the plate.
Alex Cavaluzzo would strike out swinging and D.J. Pico would be thrown out on a fielder’s choice for the Mid-Atlantic team on Emil Matti’s grounder to end the inning. Ruggiero said they were a hit away from tying the game.
Not only was the Mid-Atlantic a hit away from tying the game in that inning, but without the errors, they would have been in the game. The Mid-Atlantic had three errors that resulted in three unearned runs.
As Ruggiero said, if you take away the Southwest's unearned runs, it would have
been a whole new ball game.
The Mid-Atlantic drops into the losers' bracket to face the loser of the Great Lakes/Northwest game on Saturday in an elimination game while the Southwest advances in the winners' bracket to play the winner of the Great Lakes/Northwest game on Sunday.